Monday, July 14, 2014


I've just returned, a little tipsy, from a steak dinner with V. There is apparently no other window of opportunity for us to go and mourn/ celebrate my turning Old for many a month to come. 

I read an article from the New York Times about turning 40 recently and while the woman seemed to be succinctly putting down my thoughts I found one particularly catching. 

It was the one that said that we are 95 percent the same as everybody else and only 5 percent unique. I've been having this thought for over a year now and it's got me depressed to say the least. I've always thought of myself, of us, as more unique than just 5pc. I mean 5 pc, what is that, nothing right?! A year or so ago I realised we were all just ordinary, human and misguided and not unique at all as I had imagined I was heartbroken. This thought made me so so sad and was my thought of rumination for many an evening over this past year. I didn't come to any fine conclusions or positions to refute this. But as a coping with my grief method I think I internalised this pain of ordinariness and moved on. 

Tomorrow I'll wake up to a busy but oh so ordinary day. I don't know what I can do or what anyone could say to convince me that that 5percent of uniqueness is enough to live a full and happy life. I'm struggling with the ordinariness of me as a person - I'll be the first to admit it - but have not the slightest of clue as to what I can take this final year of my 30s and do with it. 

I'll have to ruminate some more over something chocolate. Wish me, won't you?! 

Tuesday, July 08, 2014

Five - the birthday fun continued

Unlike last years extravaganza I decided a simpler and far more inexpensive party was called for. Last year my two biggest costs were party invitations and birthday cake. This year I did away with physical party invitations and used the RedStamp App to make and email the invitation. I used this picture that the Kid had taken using my phone at the aquarium, sometime in June:

It was a simple and sweet and most importantly FREE invitation sent out by email to the very short list of mums whose kids were invited.

Then came the cake. Kid has a school friend that lives in our condominium. While the boys are very good friends his mum and I have also become firm friends and spend many a play date or poolside or playground time trying to get the kids of expend their boundless energy. She is a great baker - I don't have the patience and the tools to bake much more than an occasional banana loaf - and offered to bake and decorate with me. So we spent a morning at hers decorating (she baked it at 6am!). 

A few weeks ago, when asked what he would like, Kid had said he wanted a minion lego pirate cake. Or a Thomas train again. Explained that it was a pool party and that an ocean theme with the Octonauts might be fun. He totally went for it. He had a few figurines and we borrowed some from another friend. Dettol and detergent soaked to get any grub off. Then we opened bags of Smarties and M&M's and picked out the blue and green ones (different brands different size and shade). He helped in all these activities from seperating out smarties to soaking the figurines and scrubbing them with a brush. Also over the summer he and I built the little aquarium from a cardboard box, pipe cleaners, foam board and string. Instead of throwing it away after the many hours of pretend play that it got we saved it and used it on the party table (previous post).

Here's the making of this cake. 

The cake was delicious and not a single crumb was left.

My friend also made the piñata. She did them for both her kids and decided she was going to make one for Kid. So she made this amazing piñata and we filled it with rubber duckies/ coloured pencils/ erasers and small slinkies. 

Bottom line:
1. Invitations: free (time effort and electricity were used)
2. Cake: free (I will take my friend out for a drink sometime)
3. Piñata: $10 (all materials for outer shell were already in the crafts drawer and I spent $10 on the little toys inside)
4. Pool and function room: free (refundable deposit of $100 to insure against damage - already refunded)
5. Food: pizzas ($300 for 15 very large pizzas and $50 for all the rest of the food)
6. Decorations: kwazii cat pin the tail and the box with the cat to pelt with water balloons (free materials + $4 for water balloons); $25 for the baskets on the table and all those glasses plates and spoons. 
7. Good time had by all: like the ad says, priceless. The party was full of fun and energy and laughter. There was no better way to celebrate. 

And then on Sunday the 6th of July 2014, his actual birthday, my little boy woke up for another day of celebration. And I've been told repeatedly since then that apparently being FIVE is awesome! 

Wish my boy a year of awesomeness, won't you?! 

Sunday, July 06, 2014

Whoa! He's Five.

One day you are in hospital about to give birth to a much anticipated child. The next, you wake up and he is FIVE! It all seems like the blink of an eye, but this morning my little baby woke up a Five year old Boy. Half a decade young. 

We had a great little party yesterday, far less stress and work than last year. I'm getting smarter at getting organised and this year I just didn't want the huge wedding-ness of last year. 

I would give you the verbal full on run down in one shot but I'm afraid you'd be comatose by the end so instead let me give you the back story and a sequence of events and the food. 

The plan was to have 10 kids and a pool party. The list expanded to include a few others I hadn't thought of and so that number went up to 14. The tropical weather put paid to the idea of doing everything informally by the pool. We woke up to heavy rain so called the management office and asked for the function room. Luckily it was available so we hastily set it up. 

Sequence of events (not like I imagined but as they turned out):
10: kids arrive and they all put a paw to canvas (activity plus return present).

10.15: pin the patch on Kwazii.

This is a pin the patch game. The idea taken from Pinterest and made one evening last week. I cut out 15 patches and Kid spent an afternoon colouring each one. I popped a little peel-able tack behind each and then at the party when blindfolded the tack was peeled and the patch applied.

10.30: Sponge bucket game: two teams / 4 buckets/ getting the water from one bucket to the other using the sponge. Super fun! 

10.40: all headed to the pool. I hung around for the most part but went back to the function room at 11.20 to set up the food. 

11.40: 14 hungry kids, dry and starving from all that pool fooling around, had this to eat: 

That's 'Sea cucumbers' (cucumbers), 'fishies' (fish crackers), 'sand'wiches (buns with butter and cheese), 'Beach Balls' (apples and oranges), 'Sea mud Squares' (brownies), 'Deep Sea' Jello and 'Take a dip (tortilla chips and salsa). 

This followed by pizza and then this amazing jellyfish piñata my friend made:

Then it was cake (another post) followed by the fun game: water balloons

Forgot to say, this is Kwazii cat from the Octonauts - ties loosely to the underwater theme. I was going for. The other side of the box says 'Shiver me whiskers!!'. I made this between his bus leaving at 8.30am and 9.30am on Friday (when I had to leave to go help bake the cake). On the day we used it for the kids to stand in and take pictures and then the kids pelted it with water balloons. It's more rudimentary than the picture looks but it worked a treat. It was sopping wet and disintegrated by the end but the kids loved it! 

12.45: get a goody bag and pop in the canvas handprint and say bye bye thanks for coming to my party! This is the fronts of the bags - cut out octopus/ pufferfish/ seahorse/ dolphin, all coloured by Kid and his Brother P last Sunday. Then stuck on the bags and googly eyes added on. Small note of thanks included in the bag with two tiny packs of M&M's and a vehicle shaped ceramic money box. 

The backs of the bags were decorated with foam stickers. 

Clear up and then home were we all collapsed in small heaps to recover. Kid and his brother built some Lego while I tried to sort out the various bags and bits and bobs that had come back from the party. 

It's the 6th today and he is FIVE today. We are having a family day with visiting grandparents, V's brother, his wife and my nephew (said brother P) and a friend visiting from London. We are off to have a swim and lunch and then follow a few birthday rituals like cake and presents. Laters!